MOTIVATIONAL PERSONALITY OF THE WEEK – DR. AKINWUMI ADESINA (AA)
Dr. Akinwumi Adesina was born on 6 February 1960 in Ibadan, Oyo State. He graduated from the University of Ife with a Bachelors in Agricultural Economics (First Class Honors) in 1981. He holds a Masters degree (1985) in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University in Indiana, and in 1988 he obtained his PhD (Agricultural Economics) from Purdue wining the Outstanding PhD Thesis for his research work.
Adesina started his career in the coast of Africa and from 1990 to 1995, he served as a senior economist at the West African Rice Development Association (WARDA) in Bouaké, Ivory Coast. In 1988, he worked at the Rockefeller Foundation after winning a fellowship from the Foundation as a senior scientist. From 1999 to 2003 he was the representative of the Foundation for the southern African area and from 2003 until 2008 he was an associate director for food security.
Adesina served as the Nigerian Agriculture Minister from 2010 to 2015. Until his appointment as a minister, he was Vice President of Policy and Partnerships for the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). He was named Forbes African Man of the Year for his reform of Nigerian agriculture. He introduced more transparency into the fertilizer supply chain and said that he would give away mobile phones to farmers but this proved too difficult due to reasons such as the lack of a mobile network in country areas.
In 2010, Ban Ki-moon (United Nations Secretary General) appointed him as one of 17 global leaders to spearhead the Millennium Development Goals.
On the 28th of May 2015, Adesina was elected the President of the African Development Bank making him the 8th elected President of African Development Bank Group. He began his tenure of the office on 1 September 2015. In September 2016, Adesina was appointed by Ban Ki-moon to serve as member of the Lead Group of the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement.
On 27 August 2020, Adesina was re-elected as President of the Africa Development Bank for a second tenure which is to last for 5 years. Making him the only Nigerian to have served in that position.
The following are a few notable distinctions and awards received by him:
•YARA Prize (2007) in Oslo, Norway, for his leadership in pioneering innovative approaches to improve access to agricultural inputs for African farmers.
•Distinguished Alumni Award from Purdue University, USA, in 2008.
•Distinguished Alumni Award in 2009 and the Grand Commander of Great Ife in 2013, both from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria.
•In December 2015, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the Adekunle Ajasin University, Nigeria.
•In 2019, the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres appointed Dr Adesina as one of the 23 global leaders to help end hunger and malnutrition.
•In 2013, Dr Adesina won the Forbes Africa Person of the Year award for his bold reforms in Nigerias agriculture sector (he is the first public sector Minister in Africa to win the award)
•In October 2017, the World Food Prize Foundation awarded Dr Adesina the World Food Prize, generally known as the Nobel Prize for Agriculture.
•Forbes Africa Person of the Year 2019.
Adesina and his wife Grace have two children, Rotimi and Segun.
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akinwumi_Adesina, https://www.afdb.org/en/about-us/organisational-structure/the-president/biography